A church in Port Elizabeth and a family in Middelburg joined hands in a simple but profound act of blessing some needy people with scarves and beanies to help withstand the Karoo winter chill.
Lance Walton, a Port Elizabeth-based member of the Karoo Mighty Men Conference (KMMC) organising team says the project began when members of his local church, St Margaret’s Anglican Church felt led to bless some people in Middelburg which is home to the KMMC.
And so the ladies of St Margaret’s set about enthusiastically knitting scarves and beanies which were prayed over and blessed by Fr Roy Snyman and then handed over to KMMC Committee members, Ruthi and Ponni van der Merwe, in Middelburg just before the start of the Mighty Men conference at the end of April.
“I asked them to pray that the Lord would show them to whom the scarves were to be handed over to,” said Walton.
This month, during a week in which the temperature in Middelburg dropped to minus 6 degrees, Ruthi and Ponni and their son, Christian and daughter, Melissa set out to prayerfully deliver the gifts from PE.
They decided to visit a shack area on the outskirts of Middelburg where a number of people live and work as brickmakers.
“On our arrival we were initially disappointed as everything looked so quiet. But soon we noticed a group of 14 people sitting together in the sun,” said Ruthi.
She said she and her family members were blessed by the experience and believed that God indeed led them to the right people. After finding the group, she wondered if they would have enough scarves and beanies. As it turned out there was exactly one beanie and one scarf for every person, even for the children. The gifts were greatly appreciated.
She said Ponni read Isaiah 46:4 (Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.) to the group and prayed with them. They also gave the people English and Xhosa bibles which they had with them. The people desperately wanted Bibles — and she and her family intended to collect Afrikaans Bibles for them and for other people living on the brickfield. She said that since their initial visit her family had been back and given blankets to about 30 people in the area.
“Thank you for your support,” said Ruthi in a letter to the church ladies who knitted the woolen garments. “You are not only changing our lives but changing the vision of our children. I was so surprised to see the enthusiasm with which our children tackled this project and how they thanked the Lord for the opportunity to bless the people on the ash pits.”